When I was growing up, the buzz words of the time were “Buy American!” and “Look for the union label!” I can still hear the tune from the tv ads now. I have family members who belong to various unions and it was a big topic back then. I did not get at the time, but I certainly get it now.
We are trained as middle-class people to watch our pennies, look for the best prices we can find on anything we buy. Our friends pat us on the back if we are able to get a great deal on an appliance, a computer, a pair of shoes, etc. It’s dinner table talk and we’ve all engaged in telling stories about the “great deal” we just found. People will drive across town for a good deal on gas rather than buy from the corner pump where they are charging $.05 more a gallon. I get that. I do these kinds of things myself.
Most of the products we buy and use every day are shipped in from foreign countries. The American distributors have responded to our “low low price” culture by outsourcing jobs and buying resources overseas. We have been thrilled to get the lower prices – instant gratification! Hooray! However, as with most instant gratification, remorse usually follows. This time remorse is called “recession”. American corporations have outsourced so much that it has left us with a severely crippled economy.
We all need to budget carefully of course, now more than ever as the economy limps along. Many of us have taken pay cuts or even lost our jobs in recent years. We can’t afford to spend more - we can’t even afford to spend what we’re spending. But there are ways we can make a difference that won't hurt our pocketbooks.
Next time you are comparing two similarly priced items, turn them both over. If one says “Made in the USA” – even if it is slightly more expensive – buy that one. It may be a challenge to make this choice sometimes, but your input counts, even in these seemingly small ways. If we all start doing this, we will see a difference. And wouldn't it be nice to be a part of that improvement?
You can make a difference now. Voxometer can help. Check out this link for some online resources to “buy American”.